anti-lock brake system

(ABS) Sometimes called "anti-skid brakes." A device which senses that one or more of the wheels are locking up during braking. It monitors the rotational speeds of the wheels and reduces hydraulic pressure to any wheel it senses locking up.It is controlled by both mechanical and electronic components. When you apply the brakes, the ABS will regulate the flow of brake fluid being delivered to the brake calipers. It must be remembered that a wheel cannot be steered unless it is rolling; so if the wheel is locked up, there is no steering control. By the use of electronic computers, the brakes rapidly alternate (at a rate of 30 times per second) from full pressure to full release. This process will also alternate from the left-front wheel and the right-rear wheel and switch to the right-front wheel and left-rear wheel. In this way both maximum braking and maximum steering control is allowed during braking. Before the advent of ABS, drivers were advised to pump the brakes to maintain the same effect. However, the human foot cannot pump the brakes faster than the computer control. Also, steady application of the brakes without ABS may cause brake failure (brake fade) because of the excess heat. Never pump the brakes if you have ABS. When you firmly apply the brakes with ABS, you may feel a pulsing sensation and hear a banging noise.

Dictionary of automotive terms. 2015.

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